Honda has announced that it will join F1 as a full power unit manufacturer for the Aston Martin team in 2026 when F1 introduces a new engine formula. Martin Whitmarsh, Group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, said that the Silverstone team had to become independent to achieve sustained success, moving away from a reliance on its current engine and gearbox supplier, Mercedes, from which it also rents a wind tunnel. However, former world champion, Fernando Alonso, does not think Aston Martin needs a works engine to win a world title, stating that the wait for Honda doesn’t mean that Aston Martin can’t win championships over the next two seasons.
Although Alonso shares Whitmarsh’s enthusiasm for the Japanese giant’s arrival, he said being a works team has its benefits, while explaining that until 2026, the team still has a chance of winning the championship. He added that a works engine is only one aspect; there are other aspects that make the team’s performance competitive in Formula 1 races. According to Alonso, attracting Honda is the latest sign of Lawrence Stroll-led Aston Martin‘s ambition. Aston is set to move into a brand-new, state-of-the-art factory in Silverstone and is also building a new wind tunnel, which makes Alonso optimistic about the future of the team.
Alonso will be 44 at the start of the 2026 season but has batted away questions on whether or not he will still be there when Honda joins. He said it’s too far ahead to know what he would be doing and that he has to concentrate and focus on this year. This news is a huge change for F1 as Aston Martin and Honda move in new directions, aiming to eventually dethrone Mercedes supremacy. The move by the Silverstone team is encouraging as they work towards reaching new heights in F1.